Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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2008 Elections

Joe Biden on the Issues

 

(Editor's Note: Biden dropped out of the presidential race for the Democratic nomination, following a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, 2008, where he got only about 2 percent of the delegates. )

 

Abortion
Voted in favor of banning partial birth abortions, but supports the protection of Roe v. Wade. Finds middle ground with his faith as a Catholic and responsibilities as a Democratic Senator in a woman's right to privacy. He voted in favor of the $100 million dollar fund to reduce teen pregnancy through education and contraceptives. He is not in favor of public funding for abortions ... more

 

Environment and Energy
America's national security and future health depends on government action against our dependence on oil and cleaning up the environment. Through investing in the efficient technology of lithium batteries and requiring every automobile be equipped with flex-fuel production to ensure a 40 mpg standard by 2017, America can ween itself from fuel dependency. He proposes legislation that gives $50 million to states to educate citizens on the implementation of energy efficient technology. He wants to impose tougher standards on plants to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and mercury and fine those that do not cooperate ... more

 

Foreclosures
Joe Biden sees impending foreclosures as a serious problem for the economy and he has warned that nobody knows the depth of the issue. “I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis,” he said in August. Biden advocates a comprehensive solution to fight impending foreclosures by allowing bankruptcy judges to modify loans including interest and time frames for repayment; cracking down on predatory lenders, unscrupulous brokers and abusive penalties that trap people in bad mortgages and strengthening the Federal Housing Administration’s ability to counsel families facing foreclosure and help them refinance with federally backed loans. During the Democratic primary debate in August, he called for more transparency, particularly in regard to hedge funds and private equity funds, and more accountability. Biden wishes to encourage lenders to modify loans and freeze their interest rates beyond the freezing proposal made by the Bush Administration. He criticized Bush’s reaction to the subprime mortgage crisis, saying that “short-term patches and half measures that just help a tiny fraction of people just aren’t good enough.” ... more

 

Health Care
Within the first 90 days of administration, he would gather fundamental groups involved with health care including businesses, providers and government to put affordable health care into action. Two basic tenants of his health care plan include coverage to all children and providing catastrophic health insurance. In order to push universal health care, insurance agencies must first undergo reform. Through a reform, Americans would have access to affordable health care provided in the form of a buy-in plan reflecting that of the federal employees insurance plan. ... more

 

Immigration
He opposes deporting the 14 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. He proposes that background checks weed out the criminals to send back and provide for pathway towards "earned citizenship" for the rest. He views the U.S.-Mexican border not only as a gateway for illegal immigrants, but for drug trafficking as well. He believes strengthened border patrol and a shorter fence than the one voted on in September 2006 would help to ease future immigration problems ... more

 

Iraq
He is in favor of a political solution to Iraq as opposed to a military solution. He pledges to bring troops home during his administration if there is not a political solution in place. He proposes the decentralization of Iraq, which would give the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds their own states within the country. Successful execution of decentralization would allow troops to stay in Iraq and function like the troops America has kept in Bosnia ... more

 

Taxes
Biden’s tax reform policy is based upon eliminating the tax cuts that Bush has given to Americans in the top 1 percent of the tax bracket. He projects that with the $600 billion that these tax cuts will cost over the next 10 years, he can fund homeland security, health care and the No Child Left Behind programs. In the Senate, Biden spearheaded the efforts to reverse the Bush tax cuts, with his latest attempt in October 2007, and give tax breaks to the wage earners ... more

 

Yucca Mountain
Biden is a longtime opponent of building a federal nuclear repository facility at Yucca Mountain, which is about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. In 2002, after voting in the Senate against using Yucca as a depository site, he more

 

— Las Vegas Sun new media intern Jenna Kohler and new media managing editor Dave Toplikar contributed to this report.

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